On 18 December, the Bombay High Court held that a wife, divorced on the ground of adultery having been proved against her, is not entitled to maintenance from her ex-husband.
The bench headed by Justice Nitin W Sambre, set aside a writ petition filed by a divorced wife, challenging a Sessions Court order, which canceled the grant of maintenance to her, after being divorced on proven charges of adultery.
As per the provisions of Section 125 (4) of Criminal Procedure Code, “No Wife shall be entitled to receive an allowance from her husband under this section if she is living in adultery, or if, without any sufficient reason, she refuses to live with her husband, or if they are living separately by mutual consent.”
The couple got divorced in 2000, as per Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, on the grounds of adultery. The Court awarded the wife and son Rs. 150 and Rs. 25 per month as maintenance, at the time. However, in 2010, the wife made an application to enhance maintenance. The Magistrate Court allowed the application and enhanced the maintenance amount to Rs. 500 and Rs. 400 for the wife and son respectively.
Subsequently, in 2015, the Sessions Court allowed a revision application moved by the husband, for cancellation of maintenance.
Advocate Mahendra B Deshmukh acting for the wife stated that even if the petitioner is a divorcee, she is entitled to maintenance, as she continues to be a woman within the meaning of Section 125, Cr.P.C. However, advocate Kayval P Shah, appearing for the husband opposed the writ petition and argued that given the statutory embargo under Section 125 (4), Cr.P.C, the Sessions Court had rightly refused maintenance to the wife.